by Christopher Paslay
Join Monday night’s Michelle Rhee “information rally” outside Kimmel Center on November 7th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
On Monday, November 7th at 8:00 pm, former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee will be speaking at the Kimmel Center as part of Widener University’s 2011-2012 Philadelphia Speakers Series. Although Rhee is billed as a visionary school reformer with a mantra of “putting students first,” Towson University Assistant Professor Shaun Johnson estimated that Rhee’s speaking fees for the last 10 months alone will earn her “between $1 M and $2 M, depending on whether she charged the full $50,000 per event specified in her contract, or the mere $35,000 she charged Kent State.”
Rhee is also knee-deep in politics and her “Students First” organization, which is trying to raise $1 billion to dismantle organized labor, is backed by corporate heads, including Rupert Murdoch, hedge fund manager Julian Robertson and the Fisher Family, as well as the Koch Brothers.
Here are five things Rhee won’t be talking about on Monday night:
1. Rhee put “students first” and charged Kent State University a $35,000 speaking fee to talk to an audience of about 600 people. She also required first-class airfare, a VIP hotel suite, a town car and personal driver.
2. Rhee, unable to control her students during her first year as an elementary schoolteacher in Baltimore, taped her students’ mouths shut with masking tape on the way to the lunchroom. A year later, she grossly exaggerated her students’ gains on standardized tests.
3. When Rhee was chancellor of D.C. schools and improved test scores were tarnished by a cheating scandal, Rhee failed to answer questions from the media or explain the testing aberrations and high rate of erasures.
4. Rhee lacks expertise in the field of education. “Rhee’s ideas about how to fix the ailing school system were largely misinformed,” D.C. native and schoolteacher Rachel Levy wrote in a blog published in the Washington Post, “and it’s no wonder: She knew little about instruction, curriculum, management, fiscal matters, and community relations.”
5. In 2010, D.C. incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty lost the Democratic primary election. Political experts interpreted this as a referendum on Rhee’s unpopular and misguided reign as school’s chief.
Monday night’s “information rally” from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm outside the Kimmel Center will set the record straight, however.
Support hardworking students and dedicated teachers and help inform the public about the real Michelle Rhee. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org